Continuing Tales

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 6 of 23

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Still ‘Hermione!’

‘Hi Gin! Long time no see, hmm?’

Ginny dragged her into a hug. ‘Definitely! Come in.’

Footsteps could be heard coming down the hallway, and Hermione could see Harry grinning from ear to ear. ‘All right, Hermione?’

She threw her arms around him. ‘It’s great to see you!’

‘Okay, calm down,’ he muttered, rolling his eyes purposefully.

She gave him a playful punch on the arm before following him to the kitchen.

‘What’s new, then?’

They talked for ages; Hermione informed them of how her apprenticeship was going, and, rather triumphantly, of how her magic was beginning to return—she sent her mug of tea whizzing around the room for good measure.

‘Oh, and I’m going to St. Mungo’s for two days next week—a work experience thing the Ministry want me to do. They could only give me two days, though, so I’m going to do the rest of the hours in Slug and Jiggers’.’

Harry and Ginny crinkled their noses with distaste.

‘I know,’ Hermione agreed, ‘but, believe me, there wasn’t much other choice.’

Eventually, Hermione forced herself to bring up the issue that she was sure her companions were tiptoeing around.

‘How’s Ron?’

Harry and Ginny shared a look. ‘Actually, Hermione, um, there’s something we wanted to tell you about that. Ron and Lavender have split up.’


‘Yes.’ Harry nodded. ‘Apparently, they had a huge row last night, and while that’s not unusual, Ron reckons it might be it this time. He Floo-ed us this morning and told us that Lavender had taken her things and left.’

‘It’ll be all over the Daily Prophet soon, I’m sure,’ added Ginny with a grimace.

‘Oh, well...’ Hermione was rather at a loss. ‘I’m sorry, I suppose...’

‘You don’t have to pretend, Hermione. We understand that you probably don’t give a damn—that’s understandable.’

Hermione shrugged. ‘I’m not sure what I think, right now, to be honest, but you know I don’t really wish Ron any ill-will. ’

‘You’re more generous than Harry—he can’t stand Lavender.’

Harry shrugged wryly, and Hermione smiled.

‘He’s gone to stay at the Burrow for a bit—Mum’s probably pampering him as we speak.’

‘She’s probably loving having him around.’

So, Ron and Lavender had split up. Did that mean anything for her? Did she care? Was she pleased by such a development? In actual fact, she felt ambivalent. Maybe, her indifference meant she was over him completely.

She hadn’t seen Ron in such a while; she was sure it would be only through seeing him in person that she would fully understand how she felt about him.

It was just a case of when that moment would come.


After spending most of Sunday in Grimmauld Place, Hermione returned back to Hogwarts at around eight o’clock in the evening. En route to her rooms, she made the decision to stop off in the staff room and see if Snape was inside, just to let him know that she would be starting some of her work experience on Monday.

She opened the door and discovered that he was, indeed, inside. He was conversing with McGonagall, but to Hermione’s amazement, as soon as he saw her, he abruptly got up and stalked towards her.

‘I want to speak to you,’ he hissed, brushing past her and out into the corridor.

Hermione stood there, dazed for a moment. McGonagall also looked surprised, and when she caught her eye, she shrugged in confusion.

With a deep breath, Hermione went back out into the corridor in time to catch Snape striding towards the dungeons. There was something ominously furious about his whole manner, and she wondered what on earth she could have done to warrant such an attitude—especially since she hadn’t seen him since Friday afternoon.

Presuming he was headed to his office, Hermione grimly set off in that direction.

When she got there, he was standing by his desk, a tumbler of whisky in his hand. Hermione shut the door and stood still. ‘What’s wrong?’ she asked, sure to keep her voice even, despite the butterflies in her stomach.

He set his drink down, and looked calculatingly at her. ‘Is it not enough,’ he started, his voice soft, ‘that I allow you to encroach upon my time; to invade my classroom—my office?’

Hermione was thrown completely. ‘I don’t understand,’ she ventured.

‘Apparently, it is not enough, because, clearly, you feel the need to invade my privacy, as well!’

She automatically stepped forward. ‘Hang on a minute—’

‘I will not hang on a minute!’

‘Well, I have no idea what you are talking about!’ she protested helplessly.

‘Friday afternoon—there was a letter on my desk, which you read!’

Hermione was aghast. ‘I certainly did not!’

He moved towards her, laughing bitterly. ‘Oh, please! You’d have more chance convincing me that the moon is made of cheese than of your innocence!’

‘I didn’t read it!’

‘It is my endless experience, Miss Granger, that people like you cannot keep their noses out of business that doesn’t concern them!’ His eyes were blazing fiercely with anger.

‘Look, I admit I saw a letter on your desk—’

‘See!’ There was something almost like triumph on his face.

‘I saw it—but I didn’t touch it! I was checking to see if you had any marking for me—like I always do.’

‘I don’t believe you! It was not where I left it!’

‘Perhaps, I knocked it accidentally, but that was it!’

‘You read it. How many people have you told? You were with Potter, this weekend...’

Feeling quite angry herself, now, Hermione gathered up all her courage and closed the distance between them. She lifted her chin and stared defiantly at him.

‘Read. My. Lips,’ she stated forcefully. ‘I did not touch, nor read, your precious letter! What’s more, I’ll thank you not to throw accusations in my face without any actual proof!’

Without really thinking about it, she moved to jab a finger into his chest, to emphasise her point, but he moved as quick as lightning and enclosed a hand around her wrist. Hermione stared at it in surprise, breathing deeply.

He was glaring at her intently, but quickly let her arm go.

‘I didn’t read it,’ she repeated, ‘and it’s not my fault if you are careless enough to leave things lying about.’

Hermione spun round and quickly left the room. She kept walking and didn’t stop until she reached the Entrance Hall. It was when she got there that she realised she was repeatedly rubbing her wrist. It wasn’t that he’d hurt her, his grip hadn’t been strong; it was just... the touch had rather burned into her skin—it distinctly unnerved her.

What on earth was in that letter that he felt so paranoid about? Was it something personal? Or something involving a student—no; he’d accused her of blabbing to Harry so it must be something personal.

Hermione could hear someone approaching, and she feared it might be that Snape had followed her for round two. It wasn’t him; however, it was the Headmistress.

‘Are you all right, Hermione?’

Hermione knew she must be curious about Snape’s earlier behaviour.

‘Yes, um... fine,’ she answered distractedly.


‘Professor Snape is just upset with me over something I didn’t do.’ Maybe she shouldn’t blab to McGonagall, but she couldn’t help it. She felt extremely bitter about the fact that he so obviously had no trust in her.

‘I think I might have an idea why.’

‘Oh?’ Hermione looked at the older woman with interest.

‘Come, let’s go up to my office, and you can tell me whether I need to have a stern word with him.’

Hermione blanched. ‘No, please don’t. I’m sure that would only make it worse.’

‘Well, I’ll be the judge of that.’

They settled down in the impressive office, and McGonagall presented her with a cup of tea. ‘So, what was that performance all about earlier?’

Hermione paused, unsure of what exactly she should reveal. ‘He left a letter of some sort on his desk on Friday afternoon, and he thinks I read it, which I didn’t! I saw it, but when I realised it was from the Ministry, I stopped myself.’

There was a knowing look on McGonagall’s face. ‘I see. Did you happen to notice if it was from the Department for Law Enforcement, by any chance?’

‘Yes, it was.’

McGonagall smiled with resignation. ‘I have told him umpteen times not to let it bother him, but it always does. He sulks for days after those visits.’

What visits? ‘Oh,’ said Hermione simply.

‘He’s being monitored by the Ministry.’

‘What?’ Hermione spluttered, hardly believing what McGonagall had just revealed. ‘Why?’

McGonagall smiled for a moment, as if pleased by her response. ‘Past events, of course; it’s rather a complex issue. You see, many parents, especially those in the Muggle world, were concerned about sending their children back to Hogwarts following the end of the war. Indeed, they were understandably shocked by what had gone on during the war, not to mention that it had gone on in a school. Some were seriously considering removing their children to Muggle schools, and that is something the Ministry cannot risk.

‘I asked Severus to come back to teaching once he’d recovered, and he, somewhat ungraciously accepted. Of course, that helped to compound the issue with those parents who were unsure about Hogwarts. No matter what side Severus was on, they felt he should not be able to teach. Well, I wasn’t going to stand for that! Mind, credit where it’s due, the Ministry were more than happy for him to come back here, but there had to be a compromise somewhere. For all intents and purposes, they keep an eye on him—they pay him a visit every so often, always unannounced.’

It left a bitter taste in Hermione’s mouth. ‘So they make sure he keeps on the straight and narrow—what on earth do they think he’s going to do?’

McGonagall shrugged. ‘It beats me, but it keeps them happy.’

Hermione rubbed her cheek thoughtfully. ‘No wonder he’s not happy about it, though.’ Something else occurred to her. ‘I’m, ah, not sure you should have told me. I mean, he clearly didn’t want me to find out.’

‘It does trouble him, and that is why I tend to make light of it, because it’s just formality, and I wish he wouldn’t let it frustrate him so. Still, no doubt he will be furious if he finds out I’ve told you, but it’s not actually a secret, though many are unaware of it, of course. I trust you to keep it to yourself, Hermione, and I see no harm in helping you understand some of what he is dealing with.’

‘I won’t mention it to anyone. How long is it going to go on for?’

‘We are not sure—it’s been nearly two years, so possibly for a few more, yet.’

Hermione shook her head negatively, indicating her feelings on the matter.

‘In some ways, Severus could potentially benefit from this arrangement.’


‘Not everyone was pleased to see the downfall of Voldemort, as you have discovered yourself. Severus, of course, played a direct part in that and alienated those who would have once seen him as on their side. Some Slytherin students, for example, have had family members imprisoned. It’s unlikely that they would try and attack him, but they might seek revenge through more subtle means—accuse him of questionable behaviour, have him caught in possession of certain Dark items, and so on. Should he ever need to defend himself, well, he has those Ministry reports to fall back on, because, needless to say, they never find anything about him that needs investigating.’

‘The war might be over, but its grip lingers still, doesn’t it?’

The Headmistress nodded sagely. ‘Do you remember, Hermione, when I first offered you this apprenticeship, and you were, unsurprisingly, sceptical about Severus’ willingness to co-operate?’

‘Of course; that letter was rather... something.’

McGonagall smiled. ‘I don’t mind telling you now that there was an added bonus in you coming here, and I am quite sure you won’t take any offence when you hear it.’

Hermione was suddenly very intrigued.

‘I thought that Severus would benefit from spending a year working with you. Providing that you managed to get along fairly harmoniously, I considered what better advocate for his reputation than Hermione Granger? Now, my dear, I hope you don’t think I aimed to use you; I had merely hoped this angle would help convince Severus.’

‘No... I’m sure I’m happy to be of any help...’ She was rather surprised, though.

‘Severus being Severus, Miss Granger, it didn’t convince him.’


‘One of Severus’ problems is that he doesn’t care much about protecting himself—maybe it’s a male pride thing. In actual fact, I’m sure it was my appeal about the potential danger that you faced without your magic, which impressed him more. I tried to get him to write something encouraging to you, but that defiantly aloof scribble was all he could manage.’

Hermione looked at her hands with a smile.

‘Of course, none of this excuses him for taking out his frustration on you. He didn’t say anything particularly to upset you?’

‘No, it’s fine; I understand now—besides, I think he could tell I wasn’t impressed.’

‘Good—you should stand up for yourself.’

‘I appreciate you telling me all this, and you have my word it won’t go any further.’

Before she got up to leave, Hermione remembered her original reason for seeking out the Potions master in the first place.

‘Professor, I’m going to be out of the castle for the next two days. I’ve arranged to spend two days at St. Mungo’s, in the Apothecary. I thought I might stay at my parents for the night, as well. I wonder if you’d mind passing the message on to Professor Snape? I’d rather not face him again tonight. I’ll be back as usual for Wednesday.’

‘Of course; best of luck at St. Mungo’s, and my best to your parents, as well.’

Merlin only knew what Wednesday would have in store for her.


The following night, Hermione was relaying her day to her parents.

‘I really enjoyed myself there, Mum,’ she explained as she set the table. ‘There was so much going on, and the people were really nice. They showed me around their research and development department, where they work on new treatments—that was really interesting.’

‘You sound like you are really into all this. Do you think you will stick with Potions, then?’

Hermione nodded. ‘Seems a shame to waste all the work I’ve done this year. I enjoy the practicality of it, and the thought of going back to a desk job after all this just seems a bit boring. Apparently, there may be a position opening in St. Mungo’s in the summer—they gave me an application form, anyway.’

Her mother looked at her with a smile. ‘Well, sounds like you could be in for a chance.’

‘I hope so. I have to get Professor Snape to write me a reference to send off with the form, and if they are interested, I’ll have an interview.’

‘He’ll write you a good one?’

Hermione paused in the motion of pouring out some wine. ‘Good point. Well, I would not expect anything effusive—I don’t think he is physically capable of effusiveness—but, I don’t think he would write anything truly negative.’

She took a sip out of her wine glass. ‘Would he?’

If he still thought her a snoop, he might, she realised. She hadn’t mentioned that little issue to her mother. Well, she would deal with that issue when she returned to Hogwarts. There was no point dwelling upon it now.

‘Oh, Mum, guess what?’ Hermione asked, changing the subject. ‘Lavender has dumped Ron—it’s in the Prophet today.’

‘I knew it wouldn’t last,’ her mother commented with a sniff. ‘Was he seeing someone else again?’

Hermione smiled ruefully. ‘No, not as far as I know.’ Her mother possibly held more bitterness about the past than she did herself.

‘Well, I hope he doesn’t think he can worm his way back in with you!’

‘Mum, we might become friends once more, but I would not be able to trust him like that again.’

She had considered this at length and had come to the realisation that she really did not want to rehash old ground with Ron. She felt it unlikely, but if he did decide he wanted to give it another try, Hermione was confident she would not.

She had a feeling, however, that before long their paths would cross once more, and it was probably time to let bygones be bygones.


Following her final day at St. Mungo's, Hermione arrived back at Hogwarts during dinner. Before going to her rooms, she thought she’d take the opportunity to run down to Snape’s office and grab some of her work. He was probably in the Great Hall, and she’d rather avoid him a little longer, until she had no choice but to see him tomorrow.

The office was dark and, thankfully, empty, and Hermione quickly moved to her table to pick up some of her books. There was a scroll of parchment placed next to the pile of books, and she hesitated before picking it up. Was he so paranoid that he was now testing her by leaving unknown parchments lying around, in the hopes that he’d catch her snooping?

It was a ridiculous idea—this was her space, after all, and it was placed right next to her books. Mind made up, Hermione partially unrolled the parchment to discover it was her latest essay, which he’d marked. Sighing with relief, she placed the scroll atop her books and began the trek up to her rooms. Dumping her load down, she greeted Crookshanks, who was fairly buzzing to see her. Then, she turned the taps on in the bathroom to draw herself a hot bath.

While waiting, Hermione picked up her essay, for once feeling oddly ambivalent about discovering her marks. She leisurely scanned the pages and found there was nothing much out of the ordinary. She’d managed to do well; there were a few crossings out, a few ticks, and there was...

All she could do for a moment was stare in disbelief.

At the very bottom, in a rather small scrawl that absolutely screamed reluctance, was:

This is a very good attempt, Miss Granger.’

She wasn’t sure how long she stood there, trying to digest that brief comment.

Very good? This was practically effusive from him, it...

Suddenly, though, comprehension began to dawn and, shaking her head in bemusement, she rolled up the scroll.

Hermione knew exactly what she was dealing with here.

This was Severus Snape apologising.

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 6 of 23

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